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Topic: Alps (14 msgs / 646 lines)
1) From: Thom Underwood
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Having blown through three HP Precision units and 
one HP Gourmet (which I liked the best) in about 9 months I have now acquired an 
ALPS.  I like the change... the quiet and the longer roast cycle allows me 
to relax a bit with the event and now I can even hear the second crack (which I 
had decided you all were imagining)!
 
However, I had become used to the visuals provided 
with the HP and also had inserted a thermometer to watch the 
temperature.  While the visual possibilities are gone, is there any simple 
way to put a thermometer in the ALPS?
 
BTW - HP was always excellent to deal with and 
replaced every broken unit without hesitation.  In fact they are currently 
replacing my last (4th) broken unit.  I will keep the replacement 
around as a backup to the ALPS.
 
Regards - Thom
 
 

2) From: coffenut
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Thom,
 
You 
can still peek with a flashlight...I've done it several times, usually when 
roasting a new bean where I'd like to see how it's progressing.  Opening 
the lid for a quick peek doesn't seem to significantly affect the roast from my 
experience.  But, using the Alp will teach you to listen for cracks and 
time from there to achieve the desired result quite well.  You'll soon get 
good at discerning the difference between beans clinking as they rotate around 
the drum vs the actual cracks.  I've thought about measuring the 
temperature a few times, but really haven't convinced myself of 
the need (after 95 roasts).  SwissMar will take very good care of 
you just as you have experienced with Hearthware in the event of a 
failure.  
 
Coffenut  :^)

3) From: Ken Parker
At 03:42 PM 3/21/2001 -0800, you wrote
 
However, I had become used to the visuals
provided with the HP and also had inserted a thermometer to watch the
temperature.  While the visual possibilities are gone, is there any
simple way to put a thermometer in the ALPS?
 
Regards - Thom
 ---------------------------------------------------
Thom:
I posted this last year, but it still works well.
I have an Alp with a temperature gauge. I purchased the thermometer from
a 
lab supply. Here's the info:
www.labsafety.com
http://www.labsafety.com/commerce/product.asp?dept%5Fid†75&pf%5Fid00Product number 10606C
The thermometer has a 12 inch stem. I drilled a 5/32 inch hole, in the
drum
end, through the black plastic cover and the inside metal liner. I tried
to
drill the hole on the axis of the drum as closely as I could eyeball
it. 
Before turning on the roaster, simply shove the thermometer into the
hole until it's about an inch or two from the end of the drum. (It's
almost
fully inserted at this point.) Now just push the start button and roast
normally. Of course, the temperature profile is of the heat in the drum,
not the beans. But it gives one a good reference for future roasts. I
usually start logging temperatures in 30 second increments starting at
about 10 to 12  minutes into the roast. This addition has been a great
help in 
attaining consistent roasts with the Alp.
Oh yeah.....remember to pull the thermometer out before trying to open
the 
lid!
If you aren't too worried about warranty implications, I strongly
recommend
this modification.
Good luck.
Ken Parker 

4) From: Thom Underwood
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Ken,
 
I understand your instructions and I am impressed 
with the simplicity of the approach, however, I can't seem to locate that stock 
number or anything similar to it, nor does the jump take me directly 
to that product (though I can get to the site).  What brand is the 
thermometer?  Do you know of any other place I can look?
 
I simply like to keep an eye on the temperature and 
the warranty be damned.  I was using a 
similar thermometer that I got from Tom (but only 5 inches long) with the 
HP.  Once installed it improved the consistency of my results considerably, 
even for someone as hap-hazard and casual as myself.
 
'Thanks again for your help.
 
Regards - Thom
 
 

5) From: SLR
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My Alp works great.  I usually lift the lid 
during roasting to take a peak.  You must do this in order to acheive more 
consistant roast that can only be done by checking visually. 

6) From: Glenn R. Holmes
http://www.labsafety.com/store/product.asp?dept%5Fid†75&pf%5Fid00I got to it. If you see page not found, look further down for "try
here". That will get you there. 
Glenn
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7) From: Thom Underwood
Thanks... I got to it this time.  Go figure.  This one is the 12" model?  It
doesn't show the length (or am I missing something again?).
Regards - Thom

8) From: Thom Underwood
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I 
would think there would be huge heat loss from opening the lid and a consequent 
substantial effect on roasting.  I can get over loosing the visual.  I 
have to use reading glasses so with the HP I would get so close that I always 
ended up smelling like roasted coffee for days. I can live without that - but I 
want a temperature reading.
 
Regards - Thom
 
 

9) From: Ken Parker
Thom:
Not sure what happened to you, but I just (now) went to
www.labsafety.com.
 I typed in the product code "10606C" in the Search Box at the  upper right hand corner and it immediately returned a page with the following:
10606C LAB THERMOMETER 50-500 F   EA   1  $37.50 .
BTW, this sucker is long, 12 inches and it's quite useful when roasting turkeys.
If you still can't find the website page, I'd just call them at 800-356-0783.
Remember: Just say no to Starbucks.
Ken Parker
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
At 07:30 PM 3/21/2001 -0800, you wrote:
Ken,
 
I understand your instructions and I am impressed with the simplicity of the approach, however, I can't seem to locate that stock number or anything similar to it, nor does the jump take me directly to that product (though I can get to the site).  What brand is the thermometer?  Do you know of any other place I can look?
 
 
Regards - Thom
 

10) From: Thom Underwood
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Ken,
 
Thanks for all your help.  I did eventually 
locate it and think I will test with my current shorter thermometer and then pop 
for purchasing a new one if this one is inadequate.
 
Regards - Thom
 
 

11) From: John
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Question: 
could one not use a candy thermometer?  It would certainly be less 
expensive.   If any of you are electronically inclined an LM339 is 
accurate to 1/4 degree Calvin and can take temperatures well above the roasting 
range. 
 
John - 
wandering aimlessly in deep southern Texas

12) From: Monty Harris
There are definitely less expensive thermometers out there.  Any deep fry
or candy thermometer at Walmart would work just fine.  You don't need to
pay the big bucks for a lab grade model.
Monty
At 03:56 PM 3/22/01 -0600, you wrote: 
<Snip>
Garamond0000,0000,ffffQuestion:
could one not use a candy thermometer?  It would certainly be less
expensive.   If any of you are electronically inclined an LM339 is
accurate to 1/4 degree Calvin and can take temperatures well above the
roasting range. 
  
Garamond0000,0000,ffffJohn
- wandering aimlessly in deep southern Texas
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

13) From: John R. Ross
Monty:
Yes! I rebel at putting a 40$ thermometer in
my $3 Popper -- it seems so ...asymetrical.
I bought a big dial Pyrex candy thermometer
at Bed, Bath and Beyond (do I have that 
absurd name right?)
for less than $8 dollars and... and took it
back when I discovered it had no way of
calibrating it and it read 175 degrees 
with its 6 inch prong in boiling
water -- its dial was big
and easy to read and if I hadn't the Pelouze
I  bought from Tom I woulda just begun buying
and returning until I found one that worked
(I
need an extra inch of extension down into the
chamber of the Popper) see, I regularly shop 
at the Trader Joe's nextdoor to
the Bed..Beyond store.
I've heard that Weber has high temp
thermometers as part ofits line of barbque 
accessories.
I use the thermometer without illusion that I
am measuring anything. I use it to just add 
to my data in the quest for predictabillity
f'rinstance I turn off the popper and dump 
the beans for cooling at 470 degrees on the
Sumatra, when it is at 450 for the Harrar 
and 440 for the Guatamalas
...just 'cause I have found these to be
optimal for my espresso blend... and this
when the ambient is below 65 degrees...
I may change it as Spring advances.
BTW Trader Joes sells Chockfullanuts 
coffee which is the first time I have 
seen it here on the west coast 
... used to see ads in the Saturday 
Evening Post as a kid.
Another subject: or (another BTW): in
the building supply store -- where you
buy the aluminum foil over plastic 
bubble insulation (for water heaters
and pipes) you'll find a sticky-back
aluminum foil tape that I use for 
all kinds of things like to create 
a blind basket for backflushing my 
Gaggia or for protecting my popper's
plastic hood /cover from melting 
... it resists heat and moisture.
John
<Snip>
RE: +Alps
<Snip>
homeroast
<Snip>
thermometers out there.  Any deep fry
<Snip>
just fine.  You don't need to
<Snip>
<Snip>
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14) From: NOEL HONG
So far, no problems with the ALPs(38 roasting cycles). All roasting cycles 
ended with "manual" overide. Roasts based on timing of the cracks & 
visualizing the roast.  By removing the bean dump container utilizing a 
strong flash light you can observe the beans.  I might have a hot unit.  
Roast cycle at default 8. 1st crack onset 11 to 13 minutes, 2nd crack onset 
90-120 sec later, ~45 sec latent 2nd crack after the cool button has been 
hit. I start timing my cracks when at least 2 consecutive pops occur. IMO 
the major fault in design are the size of the holes in the roasting drum. A 
dump now vs "cooling" button is definitely a feature I would like.  Cooling 
utlilizing a wire mesh bowl place over a Bemis table top humidifier fan (no 
water in humidifier) cools the beans in ~60sec with light agitation. Temp 
read out and variable temp control would be nice.  If Swissmar cares about 
customer input they should make avaiable an after market redesigned drum. 
Until then smoking Yemen & Ethiopian roasting. Bottom line: I prefer the 
fuller body, less bright roasts of the ALPs vs HIP.
Noel V. Hong
email: nhong32590
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